75.After this, when everything seemed unto Nicias and Demosthenes sufficiently prepared, they dislodged, being now the third day from their fight by sea.
It was a lamentable departure, not only for the particulars, as that they marched away with the loss of their whole fleet, and that instead of their great hopes they had endangered both themselves and the state, but also for the dolorous objects which were presented both to the eye and mind of every of them in particular in the leaving of their camp.
For their dead lying unburied, when any one saw his friend on the ground, it struck him at once both with fear and grief.But the living that were sick or wounded both grieved them more than the dead, and were more miserable.
For with entreaties and lamentations they put them to a stand, pleading to be taken along by whomsoever they saw of their fellows or familiars, and hanging on the necks of their comrades, and following as far as they were able;and when the strength of their bodies failed, that they could go no further, with ah-mes! and imprecations were there left.Insomuch as the whole army, filled with tears and irresolute, could hardly get away, though the place were hostile and they had suffered already, and feared to suffer in the future, more than with tears could be expressed;but hung down their heads and generally blamed themselves.For they seemed nothing else but even the people of some great city expugned by siege and making their escape.
For the whole number that marched were no less one with another than forty thousand men.Of which not only the ordinary sort carried every one what he thought he should have occasion to use, but also the men of arms and horsemen, contrary to their custom, carried their victuals under their arms, partly for want and partly for distrust of their servants, who from time to time ran over to the enemy;but at this time went the greatest number.And yet what they carried was not enough to serve the turn, for not a jot more provision was left remaining in the camp.
Neither were the sufferings of others and that equal division of misery, which nevertheless is wont to lighten it in that we suffer with many, at this time so much as thought light in itself.And the rather because they considered from what splendour and glory which they enjoyed before into how low an estate they were now fallen.For never Grecian army so differed from itself.
For whereas they came with a purpose to enslave others, they departed in greater fear of being made slaves themselves;and instead of prayers and hymns with which they put to sea, they went back again with the contrary maledictions;and whereas they came out seamen, they departed landmen, and relied not upon their naval forces but upon their men of arms.Nevertheless, in respect of the great danger yet hanging over them, these miseries seemed all [but] tolerable.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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